Businesses have always come and gone. However, it seems that companies can fall from market dominance to bankruptcy across a very short timeline. Large players like Eastman Kodak, Blockbuster and HMV to name a few, were victims of rapid market disruption.
Where did these once iconic businesses go wrong? Did they forget to keep challenging their assumptions about what business they were actually in? Did they put all their eggs in one basket and took the risk of losing everything? Did they make many small innovation bets while accepting that some will fail while others succeed? Did they stop innovating when there were some successes?
The effect of consumers flowing to digital technologies on smartphones and tablets to get what they want, when they want, is rattling big business. Start-ups are focusing on unbundling targeted business services at discounted rates to meet customer demands.
Certainly business models are transient and prone to disruption by changes in markets and the external competitive environment, design advances, technology, plus wider social and economic change. Organisations that misjudge their purpose, or cannot sense the situation and adapt to these changes, can only perish.
What can be done to battle business disruption?
- Ensure a full understanding of your customers' needs
Engage them, stay close, ask questions and conduct surveys. Regularly analyse client patterns and trends. Dissect the sales process. What are the touch points in the cycle and consider positive points of difference you have over the competition? - competitive advantage.
- Strategise on how you can establish old style loyalty
Understand the competition - both bricks and mortar as well as online. Are other products potentially appealing because of their substitutability? Maybe customers want your offering unbundled.
- Make sure your business strategy is nimble and capable of rapid change
Your strategy should take into account customers' wants and needs, industry trends, technology, and competition.
- Continue to explore new ideas
Aggressively support a culture of experimentation. Avoid mega investments on innovation; pursue small innovation projects to ramp up success and limit loss. Ensure that funds are available for innovative activities. Once an initiative is proven to demonstrate value, embrace the learnings before further investment. Continuously evaluate the performance of your initiatives and adjust the direction based on frequent customer feedback.
Does your organisation continuously seek new perspectives and innovation?
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